Teach For America Interim Certification Program

The Teach For America Interim Certification Program is a state-approved alternative route to certification and is open only to teachers accepted by Teach For America (TFA), placed in TFA’s Detroit region, and who pass the appropriate Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) tests.

Entry to this program begins with an application to Teach For America. During the application and interview process with TFA, applicants will be able to indicate their preference for working in the Detroit region. TFA is generally a two-year program; during their service, corps members who don't hold teacher certification are required to participate in a professional education program. Members of the TFA-Detroit corps who do not already hold State of Michigan teaching certification enroll in the Teach For America Interim Certification Program at the University of Michigan School of Education. In this program, corps members are provided with content methods seminars, field instruction, and job-embedded professional growth experiences to prepare and support their induction as teachers.

Those who choose to pursue provisional certification in the State of Michigan, must

1. Successfully complete the two-year Interim Certification Program.

2. Complete a third year of successful teaching in their placement.

3. Participate in field-instruction visits and receive satisfactory ratings.

4. Compile a portfolio of evidence of successful teaching, including an employment verification letter; satisfactory performance evaluations from supervisor, a letter of recommendation from a supervisor or mentor; and the Individualized Development Plan required of all new teachers in the State of Michigan.  

Over the course of the two-year Interim Certification Program, corps members work toward a pre-identified and sequenced set of instructional skills aimed at their ability to demonstrate specific program outcomes which have been aligned to national and State of Michigan standards for the preparation of teachers, as well as to Teach For America’s Teaching As Leadership framework. 

To support the corps members as they develop as novice teachers, the program engages them in a number of practice-based learning experiences. Corps members are expected to exhibit professionalism in their attendance and participation in these experiences in accordance with School of Education and TFA–Detroit’s policies and expectations:

• Biweekly content methods seminars (approximately 15 class meetings per year)
• Field instruction visits (3-6 per year, depending on the cohort year) using the program rubric with written feedback provided to corps members, as well as face-to-face debriefings.


Corps members’ successful demonstration of these skills is evaluated through field instruction visits, as well as a professional learning profile (PLP) that corps members compile. In consultation with U-M instructors, corps members design a plan for proceeding through the PLP and gather artifacts, such as videos of their teaching and sample student work with feedback. These artifacts are submitted to a personal electronic portfolio and evaluated.

Master's Program Option

The University of Michigan has also developed a master’s degree program based on our existing Educational Studies program. Corps members electing this option matriculate in cohorted courses along the program’s Urban Pedagogy pathway, further enhancing their understanding and abilities as skillful teachers. Classes are cohorted and occur in the evenings or on Saturdays at the Ann Arbor campus or at the University of Michigan Detroit Center to accommodate corps members’ regular work schedules in Detroit-area schools. They are also scheduled so as not to conflict with required certification program courses, which are a legislated mandate for those teaching under an interim certification.

Corps members should apply to the master's program by September 30 of the first year in the corps.

Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD) Option

TFA-Detroit corps members enrolled in the certification program may also apply to the Rackham Graduate School as non-candidates for degree (NCFD)and earn credit for certification-program coursework. This application does not require candidates to take the GRE. Corps members elect two or three of the following courses for graduate credit, for a total of 5-8 credits:

EDUC 490 Content-Methods Seminar (3 credits) Receive credit for bi-weekly seminar
EDUC 638 Field Instruction (3 credits) Receive credit for field instruction and successful field ratings
EDUC 655 Professional Portfolio (2 credits) Receive credit for e-portfolio completion and participation in portfolio exhibition

Corps members should apply to be an NCFD by January 1 of the second year in the corps, as graduate credits are not elected until spring term of their second year in the corps.

Up to $5000 of the certification program fees are credited as a scholarship towards NCFD tuition.

Current Program Participants: Visit the Teach For America Certification Program website for requirements and forms.

Program Faculty

Program Support

Program Ambassadors

Within This Section


TFA Certification Program
University of Michigan
School of Education
610 E. University, Room 3112
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: 734.764.9712
Fax: 734.764.9711


See Also: